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Three ways the Miami Heat's off-season movement affects the Lakers


1. More pressure

As if they needed another reminder, the pressure to three-peat will become more enormous for the Lakers to defend their 2009 and 2010 titles. The Lakers should be well aware that Miami has formed this super team with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Lakers in mind, even if James won't admit it. And everything the Lakers do during the course of the season inevitably will be compared to how Miami is doing.

It's safe to presume that the Lakers will play Miami next season in one of the league's showcase Christmas Day games, which probably will provide a preview of the NBA Finals. My money's still going to the Lakers because Coach Phil Jackson is returning, the team's core is still intact (sans Derek Fisher, at least for now) and the team will be more rested. Even though I criticized the Lakers for their up-and-down effort last season, I think part of that had to do with the genuine concern that a fatigued and injury-plagued team tried to do enough to get by without pushing itself toward exhaustion and pain. That also largely contributed to the team's chemistry problems during the regular season and at least the beginning of the postseason. There surely will be times when the Lakers will go through the motions. It's a long season, after all. But with Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol taking it easy this summer, it literally won't be as painful for the Lakers to fight through.

2. Less pressure

In a way, however, the Lakers enter the 2010-11 season facing less pressure. With the spectacle that James and ESPN made "The Decision" out to be, every ounce of success and struggle the Heat go through will be endlessly scrutinized. There will be endless debate about whether James made the right decision. There will be endless debate about whether James, Wade and Bosh are clicking quickly enough. And there will be endless debate about whether they have enough to unseat the two-time defending champs.

It's no coincidence that the Lakers have enjoyed a quiet off-season compared to the lunacy surrounding the speculation on where James, Wade and Bosh would ultimately land, and that's going to follow them through the season. There will also be more teams in the Eastern Conference fixated on unseating Miami. Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert expressed immaturity in an open letter that expressed as much classlessness as James displayed in the special, rallying Cleveland fans behind the claim that the team will win a championship before "The King" does. All of the other Eastern Conference teams that missed out on the LeBron sweepstakes -- Chicago, New York and New Jersey -- will want a shot at Miami.

Meanwhile, the Lakers face a Suns team without Amare Stoudemire and a Jazz team without Carlos Boozer. The only thing the Lakers have to worry about in the future entails Oklahoma City, which recently locked up Kevin Durant to a five-year extension. (I know you may not have noticed since Durant kept it under the radar. It seems that the path is clear for the Lakers to make a fourth consecutive Finals appearance.

3. The Lakers' off-season

-- Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore recently brought up a legitimate point, saying that James' joining Miami could affect the way the Lakers approach their negotiations with Fisher. Although I expect the Lakers and Fisher to ultimately make a deal, it has been mentioned that Miami has expressed interest in Fisher, a possible destination if he doesn't get the contract he feels he deserves.

The Lakers have all expressed how important Fisher's experience, clutch shooting and locker room presence are to the team. But with Miami's lineup and the fact that it could try to entice Fisher to help them to a title, the Lakers may be more inclined to give a little more to Fisher, who had hoped for a two-year deal worth $10 million.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant with the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy as the team rides along the parade route. Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (85)

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I think Dan Gilbert's letter is right on target. I do not believe it was classless. You have no idea how hard he and the city of Cleveland worked to appease LeCreep's giant ego. I will argue that such level of dedication has never occurred before in the history of American professional sports.

At least now I can begin rooting for the Cavs again.

LeCreep is a curse.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Jon K - It certainly highlights the frustration, but Gilbert is painting himself as the victim when he was really part of the problem.


Good Friday Everyone...

Well it looks like the 'King' is taking a huge hit on his image...How much is his 'brand' worth today...

1. James is showing he is not Kobe, MJ, Magic, or Bird...I agree, that's what makes those guys great...They were proven leaders and winners...They got to the promised land in their own vehicles, not hitching a ride in a one with more options...

2. This whole new Big 3 was formed 2 years ago in the Olympics...They should give more credit to the BB world, that we wouldn't see that...

3. James behavior in the Boston series was a prelude to him leaving...I believe he did throw those games in a way. The 'King' thought this was a way he could justify his leaving...

4. People who immediately made the Heat finals favorites because of the new Big 3 are ignorant...

5. I still think the Lakers will win 2011, and I don't think the Heat will make it out of the second round...

6. Today I thank God for Kobe, Mitch, Dr. Buss, Phil Jackson, Pau, Bynum, Artest, LO and the rest of our roster, and the Lakers organization...Today I realized how fortunate we are...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | July 09, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Any updates/rumors on Farmar or Shan-Wow?

Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!

Here's the deal with Fisher...

Steve Hartman on KLAC this morning was saying, "What if the Heat offer Fisher a 2 year MLE deal?"

Maybe he should study the CBA before he opens his mouth.

The Heat don't get an MLE (or a biannual) this season. If you're under the cap, you don't get exceptions, just your cap space.

And reportedly, the Heat still have to trade off Beasley for nothing to make enough cap space to pay all three players a max contract. Plus there's also the report that they did manage to do that, but signed Mike Miller with the money they saved.

It doesn't add up. Either one or all of the "new big 3" will make less than a max contract, or all Miami can offer free agents is minimum contracts.

So now tell me, why is it more appealing for Derek Fisher to take 1.3 million from Miami than 2.5 million from the Lakers?

I think that the fact that Gilbert was such an enabler to LeBrons immaturity and narcissism feeds into the betrayal he feels and is very telling in the open letter...

He definitely comes off as the "Jilted Lover" in this whole situation.

Yes, The Decision has been made, but this is a hilarious article mocking the process.

LeBron James announces that he will buy the Miami Heat, endorse the New York Knicks, marry two of the LA Clippers’ Spirit Dancers in a Utah ceremony in August, become Executive Vice President of Mining and Distribution for Polyus Gold (NJ Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s gold empire) and play basketball part-time for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Read the FUNNY article here:

Wade said that he wants Jayson Williams

not a stinking fish

this is very fun and read #1

The 9 Most Scathing Critical Responses to LeBron James: The Decision

"So now tell me, why is it more appealing for Derek Fisher to take 1.3 million from Miami than 2.5 million from the Lakers?"

Because he will make just as much or more because FL has no state income tax.


I agree. As much as Dan Gilbert is justified in bashing Lebron he makes it seem he was the victim always. While Lebron was making all the moves in Cleveland he did nothing but spoon feed Lebron whatever the hell he wished. Always this and that and I will grant. The only real solid move was Mo Williams trade. Otherwise he went on a spending spree in 2009 off season which basically killed the chance of landing Lebron a second free max agent (other than Bosh since he didn't want to go there) in Cleveland, turned down a possible Ama're Stoudemire trade because he didn't want to give up JJ Hickson, and basically settled for Antawn Jamison who is getting on his years.

Make no mistake Lebron does deserve the backlash that is happening from his home state even though he has the right to choose whatever team he wanted. Dan Gilbert even though he has the right to be pissed off shouldn't have completely written himself off as a victim.

In an interesting note if you look at the price of Lebron's fat head (well he does but I'm talking about those posters you put on the wall of your preferred athlete) you'll notice the price is $17.41 down from $99.99. Why? Well first Dan Gilbert owns fathead and second 1741 is the year Benedict Arnold was born.

ouccch....I'd rather have a stinky Fish than either Dumbo, No IQ ShanBrown, or flashy elbow pass turnover/jack a 3 from half court who gets benched in the 4th quarter even in his prime White Chocolate.


Hey everyone, click on the "open letter" link in the above post from MM and read all the comments from the now EX-fans of LeQuitter.

Beautiful, just beautiful.

@ken "Jermaine O'neill only plays about half the season every year."

Jermaine O'neill signed with the Keltics. They don't have a true center.



Win-win-win-win-win-LOSE situations:
If Princess Jimmy picked:
New York : Madison Square Garden revival
New Jersey : $$$$$$$$
Chicago : Instant contender and still be THE MAN
LA ( Clippers ):.... OK, take on KOBE in HIS own kingdom and create the most compelling crosstown rivalry ever for the next three or four years.
Cleveland : Loyalty, legacy, character.... and maybe the most famous step-father and son duo in NBA history.
But of course he copped out....

Hilarious - Cavs fans calling their old 'King' LeMistake now...

MM -

Any news on Derek he back from China yet...

We need to sign Bulldog already...


Like the Secret Service, we have unlimited black Suburbans
to escort DFish to the Lakers training camp in El Segundo...

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll - - -PAY DEREK FISHER -------]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll - - -SIGN DEREK FISHER ------]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
ll - - -LOVE DEREK FISHER ------]
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

====------ === ------===
/_____l______l__ ___\____
L___(0)l______l__ ____l(0) J

Mark Medina
Jon K.
Jamie Sweet
Edwin Gueco
Tom Daniels
Mike G-Man
Rick Friedman
Jay Jay
Carlos DeeP
Staples 24
Gilbert Battung
Magic Phil
Art - FL Laker Fan
Hamachi Toro
Danny from the Bronx
Marc B (With a 'C') (roof rack)
Tha Godfatha
Chris Sheridan
Arash Markazi
Andy Kamenetzky
Brian Kamenetzky
Kevin Ding
Hadarii Jones
dave m
Nemaia Faletogo (hood)
Roland Lazenby
appolo c. vermont
Adrian Palomar
billy in slo
"I Bleed Purple and Gold"
Don't Blame Del Harris!
Kobe Bryant
lbj is a joke

"... I've decided to take my talents to SouthBeach..."

And with that, the Cavs go right back to being the Clippers of the Eastern Conference.

Stop Calling him king. he isn't king of anything. just a giant a hole with a bigger ego. seeing him never win a ring would be just what he deserves

Ouchhhhh.. Another great link... Pls keep em comin

" Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?"

Good article, but I don't totally agree with Dan being classless. Emotional, yes. Immature, sure. Classless... not quite to me. Here's my analogy:

Stop Calling him king. he isn't king of anything. just a giant a hole with a bigger ego. seeing him never win a ring would be just what he deserves

Posted by: shovelhead | July 09, 2010 at 01:02 PM

Although I agree with you whole-heartedly... I still think we can reference Metallica and call him KING NOTHING... will that work for you?

Wow, the discount for Lebrick's fathead to $17.41 is hilarious.

"Looks like "Superfriends" is gaining traction as the Heat trio's nickname
I have my favorites, some from others:

3rd Place 2006 Worlds Championship Team
The Three Me-Egos
Huey, Dewey, and Luey
Three Stooges
New World Order
Riley’s Angels
Snap, Crackle and Pop
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Wacko, Yacko, and Dot
Shake, Rattle, and Roll
If they win – The Triple Crown
If they lose – Three’s a Crowd
Unholy Alliance"

I have no doubt that the Heat will be entertaining to watch but they still have to field a team and then go out and execute, just like everyone else in the league. Is Spoelstra still going to be the coach? I can't imagine Riley not wanting to step back in. As for LeBron specifically, it's just hard to find a positive spin on the way he's handled things. It's about as big a stage as someone can create and the buck stops with him.

this is a little disturbing - in a good way. from a military Cavs fan

"City: Cleveland, Ohio
Name: Paul
I’m 25 years old. I’m about to re-enlist for another tour overseas with the Army. I have an idea of what matters and what doesn’t.

But this still hurts. Nothing stings worse than when one of your own rips your heart out. Not like this …

Maybe I should do what’s best for me and get out of the Army. Unfortunately, loyalty is driving me to do one more tour.

LeBron knows nothing of that word."

hey ouchhhhhhhh...

How about:

Riley's Angels

Classless of the Titans in 3(no)D

The Just Us League

The Bermuda Triangle - where integrity and heart disappear.

The gAy-Team

When does the 2010-11 schedule get released? I need to mark the days on my calendar of when I should NOT watch TNT/BSPN/ABC? Thankfully, I can tune out until 7:30 pm PST.

Gee, who do you think Stern will have the Heat playing first....what are the odds its Cleveland? Or should it be NYC just to stir the MSG pot?

Cheers all - PLG

Mark Medina,

I just got word from Cleveland. Part of Gilbert's frustration is that they JUST completed a new $3 million practice facility near LeBron's house so he wouldn't have to drive all the way to Cleveland to practice.

LeBron was that coddled.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


This is the most chicken-shit decision in the history of sports. Magic, Bird and Jordan would have never copped out like this. Let alone join forces. Let's say he does win 4-5-6-7 championships. What does it prove? It's still Wade's team. What if they don't win a championship? Does it matter? His legacy, his name, can never be placed at the top with the all-time greats of basketball. Not after this. They did it without their Olympic buddies. Can you imagine Oscar signing with Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and the Lakers in his prime? Since the days of Magic, Bird and Jordan, players have been measured by titles. Now you can just buy them? Hopefully Kobe and the Lakers will disprove that notion...

Anyone else noticed the suffocating silence from Darth Stern?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Buy 2 and Get three for FREE! for Miami HEAT only, a David Stern charity contribution! Powell, Mbenga, Morrison, Brown, Farmar! You need a bench, yeah? C, PF, SF, SG, PG.. Kobe and Phil won TWO rings with it, Lebron can you?

Jon K

the facility was 20 MIL.

with 3 MIL you can ONLY build only a shack for Snaq.

Mr. James, the "King of No Rings."


those quotes were from other fans. see the " " marks. my American vernacular and Titles appropriation is very poor. I'm still brushing up.


>>>"So now tell me, why is it more appealing for Derek Fisher to take 1.3 million
>>>from Miami than 2.5 million from the Lakers?"
>>>Because he will make just as much or more because FL has no state income tax.

Okay, here's the income tax numbers:

Florida - 0% - so Derek Takes home 1.3 million after state income taxes

California - 10.3% if you're over 1 million,
so Derek takes home 2.24 million after taxes.

He still makes almost a million more to play for Lakers at 2.5 million than Heat at 1.3 million.



but i like

The Three Me-Egos

a play on the 3 Amigos that was the C's 3 spot on the BSPN.


also these 3 because i love the SOUND element, even if i do not know the references. i know, Google. :-)

too many quotes, too little time.

"Snap, Crackle and Pop
Wacko, Yacko, and Dot
Shake, Rattle, and Roll"

LEWSTRS - No news on Farmar and Shannon but I'll let you know as soon as anything emerges


LEWSTRS - Derek is back in China, but he and the Lakers are still in negotiations.

Hey Cleveland Fans,

At least Art Modell took the Browns in the dark of night without trying to make a huge fuss...

Unlike LeBron who practically S#!T in your face on National Television, in PrimeTime no less..

Guys we got a new post up. But I couldn't help wonder if this clip reminded everyone of yesterday


The only way the Lakers have to worry about losing Fish to the heat is if the new big 3 agreed to take less than the max each to leave some cash to spend on free agents.

It would have been a smart move by them.

For example, instead of 16.8 million each, if they each took a deal starting at 14 million, then that would leave 8.4 million to sign other players. With that much, they could probably get two good role players (at the Fish/MikeMiller/Brad Miller level)

If each of them takes the full 16.8, Miami can only offer minimum contracts.

So if you're Mike Miller, would you prefer to play for Miami for 1.4 million or Chicago for 5 million?

If you're Brad Miller, would you prefer to play for Miami for 1.4 million or New York for 5 million?

If you're Kyle Korver, would you prefer to play for Miami for 1.2 million or New Jersey for 5 million?

If you're Roger Mason, would you prefer to play for Miami for 1.1 million or San Antonio for 3 million?

If you're Derek Fisher, would you prefer to play for Miami for 1.4 million or the Lakers for 3 million (assuming the Lakers bump their offer a bit)?

Basically, if all of the big 3 in Miami get the max, they're going to be filling out the roster with guys like Adam Morrison, DJ MBenga, and Josh Powell. That's the sort of talent that minimum money buys you.

Staples 24,

>>>Buy 2 and Get three for FREE! for Miami HEAT only, a David Stern charity
>>>contribution! Powell, Mbenga, Morrison, Brown, Farmar! You need a bench,
>>>yeah? C, PF, SF, SG, PG.. Kobe and Phil won TWO rings with it, Lebron can you?

To be honest, I doubt they can afford Shannon Brown. The Lakers have already offered him more than Miami would be willing to pay him. Same with Farmar.

But they can afford Powell, MBenga, and Morrison. In fact it would be wise of them to court the Heat. They all have championship experience (though limited).

BTW, Wouldn't it be awesome if Gilbert's prediction came true.

If the Cavs won a championship before LeBron does.

I would laugh soooooooo hard.


Clipper sign Brian Cook to a two year deal





LongTimeLakerFan - LOL you say that now, but I think you'd probably prefer that the Lakers win the title instead


Wow - with the Ruskie team he was playing with, Gerald Green averaged 16.3 points on 49.2 % shooting. Explosive dunker (actually won the dunk contest one year).

Might have a replacement for Shannon if he decides to leave.

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept ( Primetime TV to announce/renounce your team), things we don't want to know but have to learn ( how can the best 3 free agents all end with one team?) and people we can't live without but have to let go ( LeBron James, Chris Bosh). Author Unknown

OK Laker fans it's time to PANIC!

Forget Fisher, Lakers now need to get CP3 or Deron Williams or a super-duper PG to counter the monstrous SuperHeat...


Tyrus Thomas gets 5 years at 40 million. Another big paid big because he's big (and for no other reason).

I was a LeBron admirer until his poor sportsmanship behavior after losing to Orlando two seasons ago. Today he is in a no-win situation and will probably cement "loser" tag on him as other teams knock the 3 amigos out of the playoffs every year hereafter. Remember, Kobe brought them Olympic Gold, not the 3 amigos by themselves.

Hey. Believe it or not, with Shaq and LeBron coming off their books, Cleveland suddenly has cap space.


I darn near laughed myself outta my chair!

OK Laker fans it's time to PANIC!

Forget Fisher, Lakers now need to get CP3 or Deron Williams or a super-duper PG to counter the monstrous SuperHeat...


Posted by: Psycorp | July 09, 2010 at 02:24 PM

The Master of Panic. End of story.

OK Laker fans it's time to PANIC!

Forget Fisher, Lakers now need to get CP3 or Deron Williams or a super-duper PG to counter the monstrous SuperHeat...


Posted by: Psycorp | July 09, 2010 at 02:24 PM

Are you Serious?!?!?!?!

You're obviously not a Laker Fan.

The ONLY way we would need to panic was if Kobe was one of the Trifecta, but, oh wait, he's on our team with the rest of the fellas that, now correct me if I'm wrong, have been to the FINALS the last 3 years with Back to Back Titles to show for it.


I hope you choke on that word.

Im glad that that the Heat formed THE SUPER HEAT because somebody needs to beat the Lakers aka the L.A FAKERS because they don't deserve to win it doesn't even have to be the heat to beat them just somebody anybody

So are Bosh, Wade and Lebron supposed to all play 44-45 minutes per game? Last I remember the game was 5 vs. 5 and at least 3 others off the bench get significant minutes.
If the Lakers remember to play team ball (team averages 25 assists per night) then Lakers will be in teh finals and competitive again. Heat have no answer for Bynum, Artest gets under Lebron's skin....but Stern probably wants to see a game 7...

Damn I bought the 52" LCD for this years Laker run, what do I get for next seasons!
Lakerfan since the baby skyhook

If the Lakers don't sign Fisher and if Fisher goes to Miami, I think Miami will win the Title.

The Phil Jackson will have lost on his last year as coach.

Then the hopes for a title will be less likely for Kobe given the younger ages of Miami's Big Three.

Therefore, Jerry Buss: Pay Fisher. If you want the title, the Threepeat, PAY FISHER.


Wouldn't it be funny if the heat obtain adam morrison..
He'd have the most championship experience on the team!

If Fisher is balking at $2.5M from the Lakers, why would he leave his family behind in L.A. to make half that?

The most the Heat can possibly offer is the NBA veteran's minimum.

He could spite the Lakers and do this I suppose, but it would come back to bite him. I am sure there is a job with the Lakers as an assistant coach if he retires with the team. That will not be there if he leaves for a team that will be Laker's biggest rival.

Those of you thinking Fish is going to the Heat are just insane.

First of all do some Math, no state income tax doesnt mean he will make less than he will in Florida. First of all, Derek Fisher will not be getting 2.5 mill, it will be more like 3.75 - 4mil for 2 years.

The Heat hav no chance of matching that.

Forget Kyle Korver - he signed with bulls , 3 years 15 million.

Trust me the CBA has a lot of people scared about money next year. The Heat will be lucky to get anyone except scrubs at the minimum.

NOW - that being said. Expect CP3 to be joining them in 2012. Its already a lock. The 4 of them made this agreement 2 years ago at the olympics.

So look for the heat to do nothing but contend in the east until 2012ish. Lakers win 2 more in that time. Unless OKC (very unlikely) defeats us or injuries, knock on wood.

Jon K - It certainly highlights the frustration, but Gilbert is painting himself as the victim when he was really part of the problem.


Posted by: Mark Medina | July 09, 2010 at 12:29 PM

you are definitely right, MM. but, honestly, it's not like the Cavs were a contender for the whole time Lebron was there. just the last two years.

It was quite amusing listening to DWade talk about the multiple championships this 3 Way Love Triangle is going to win. Boston is out for revenge now, after losing in the finals, so I wouldn't be so sure about that.

As bad as I dislike the Celts, their defense is no joke. So, the Threesome plotted their plan, I'll just say, while hiding in the closet during the Laker 2peat parade.

I would be more concerned about Kendrick Perkins getting healthy, and Big Baby if I were the Threesome, cause they ain't too happy right now. Don't get it twisted, it's not that simple.

Defense wins championships. I saw on a Heat blog that they want Shaq at center to "totally dominate" the NBA. LOL

SHAQ cannot guard pau or bynum. That is what the heat should be concerned with. Last time I checked, artest and kobe can guard wade and Lefollower.

Does anyone really think wade or lebron can guard Kobe? What about Pau, Bynum or LO? Seriously they have no defense. I will be surprised if they even make it to the finals next year.

Fisher's priority is his family. He has a sick kid. His decision hinges on 2 things - Money to support a sick child and a hospital that can treat the child.
As for LJ, his character is his flaw. And if you will defend him, I guess such character reflects on you too.
Cleveland is a city that should be proud of its accomplishments and traditions. Unfortunately, its own son, LJ is much too proud of himself that he doesn't understand the word respect and honor.
For the Lakers, it maybe logical to think that what worked in the past 2 years may not work again in the coming season(s). Whether we accept it or not, the Miami B3 should be taken seriously. And by that, I mean, there must be huge changes in the Lakers line-up and it must be as huge as getting Derron, Ariza and Amare. That will also mean that some people will have to go. Live contracts may mean trades. Huge contracts were offered and signed last year without anticipating that 3 superstars will be playing in 1 team. And at this point, Miami is not yet done with their roster. They will get more cheap but reliable role players, bangers, rebounders, defenders, etc. to beef-up their team. Odom, Walton, Farmar, Morrison, Mbengga and probably Vujacic and Brown should go if only to get the much needed players. Loyalty, Finesse and Glamour may no longer be enough to win championships...

Why the flock would Derek Fisher leave the team? Isn't he one of the captains? He came back to LA b/c of his daughters treatment.

It seems to me that everyone has forgotten about the Celtics. They are still in tact and they will not take this lying down. By no means am I a fan of the Celtics, but the super team has to get through them first.

That's what I'm saying Ken...

WRITER of this article seems to forget that the
HOUSTON ROCKETS, will give the Lakers
more hell than a little bit next year!
Houston never gets any respect...

This Lakers team will eventually get Fish back for 2 years IMHO with a player option on the 2nd.

This Lakers team will also play their guts out to take Phil out in style... Hopefully, they can make a run at 70 wins with the help of a more solid bench AND a weaker West.

Hopefully, Kobe & Bynum will heal and get the needed rest DURING the regular season with the help of the bench...

Did I mention the need for a Better bench?

Even if they don't get to 70 wins... the point is to be healthy for the playoffs and hopefully the Finals.

Why are people looking right past balanced tough teams like Boston & Orlando?

Boston was close to beating the Lakers, even though they practically didn't show up for Games 1 and 6. Ray Allen & the rest of that team should be pumped to avenge their embarrassment - just like the Lakers were pumped in 2009.

LeBron & Wade's team have not gotten past Orlando and Boston in recent years - just because they will be on the same team, we shouldn't assume they will.

Boston is the Eastern champ until someone beats them. The Heat will not solid low-post players to deal with Dwight Howard, Perkins/Big Baby. . .

You think those players are just gonna get nervous this summer reading all the Miami hype? They're going to practice and get better.

Reggie Miller said it yesterday: "...jumping on the Miami bandwagon".

I meant the Heat will need solid post players.

Don't completely discount Orlando in the East.

Who on the new Miami squad will defend Howard? Chris Bosh (seriously)? Do they pick up, who, Erik Dampier?

Miami doesn't need much other than defense and post-up threes from its point guard, given how much the ball will be in Wade's and LeBron's hands. But they certainly need someone to guard Howard, Bynum, and rebound against Kendrik Perkins (when he recovers from knee surgery).

It will be interesting to see what kind of offense they operate. With no bulk up front, and three quick stars, they may run a lot.

Given Miami's presumed lack of depth, they may almost platoon Wade and James through the middle of games, taking turns handling the ball, until the fourth quarter.

Apparently, the Heat will have more left-over cap room than reported. So, they may be able to compete to sign Fisher:

"'s Chad Ford that James and Bosh are scheduled to make $14.5 million and Wade $14 million in 2010-11"

That adds about $8 Million / year for other signings vs. the 16.5M salaries that were quoted earlier.

I'll still ask: Who is going to play center? Brad Miller? Erik Dampier? Ronnie Turaif?

Wheres Mike T? He puts up thousands of long-winded posts analyzing and explaining to us neophytes just why the Celtics will beat the Lakers in 6, and after we ripped the title from their leprechan hands, he disappears off the face of the earth! Man up, Mike T. Dont pull a LeBron, and go LeGone. haha...

The Miami Globetrotters are going downnnnnnnnnnn!

@Marc Medina

You're a Los Angeles reporter and have to earn you're pay. So you're entitled to you're "opinion".

Dan Gilbert had NO problem firing the NBA Coach of the year and back to back 60+ win coach Mike Brown and pushing out Danny Ferry. WHERE was his loyalty to them??? And he no problem trying to steal Tom Izzo from Michigan State. He moved to Cleveland because it was better for him. If he's "all about loyalty" then why would he try to cause someone to be unloyal to their current employer? When he cuts, waives and trades players he isn't concerned about their families an "being loyal." Funny how they pick and choose what's just a "business decision." He came across like a 9 year old little boy who just lost his first dodge ball game. Good luck getting any future free agents to come to Cleveland.

Thank you Kobe. For your determination, your commitment to winning (the hard way with injuries and all) for being loyal to LA, and us fans, for doing it the right waw, for being THE BEST closer in the game, and for giving us thrill upon thrill every game. I'm still waiting for the NBA to repossess the MVP trophy and bring it to it's rightful owner--Kobe!

Lakers forever!!!!

One more thing -- do yall suppose we should just skip the season and go ahead and present the trophy to Miami? With all their hype you would think they already have it.

Lakers gonna Lake

The Super Heat will destroy us. Pat Riley vs Phil Jackson, Dwyane Wade vs Kobe Bryant, Lebron "The King" James vs Rpn "Psycho" Artest, Chris Bosh vs Pau Gasol. Excellent matchups. If they meet in the NBA finals I say the Heat sweeps us, but in 4 close games.

Ok we went through the lenghty process last year with Lamar at this time last year, now it seems like it is Fisher's turn to hold up the Laker's! If the Laker's are offering what he asked for to begin with, what is the hold-up? Or is Fisher more of a Diva than we thought? Maybe he too wants and ESPN special about his free agnecy and whether he stays with the Laker's or goes on to the Heat?
We need to be careful how we think of these millionaire types because what you see is not always what you get, yes even Derrick Diva Fisher.

Hey now TrueLakerFanForLIfe

If you are a true laker fan then you know a tight team of 5 (25 assists per game) beats 2 or 3 stars (ask Jerry West and Elgin Baylor). Plus does the 3 amigo's play much defense?Also 3 amigos plus Udonis does not beat a 9 man Laker rotation. LAker bench will need to produce though for Lakers to repeat.

Bosch is good and does almost cancel out Pau, but team beats ball-hogs every time. Unless Heat get a playmaker like Nash, the Heat are like the Lakers team when they had the mailman and the glove (albeit a lot younger), flash but not enough teamwork and defense. And 4 ballhogs not passing to make th easy shot when the game is on the line.

Key stat I'll be watching all year? DWade's # of assists per game.
LAkerfan since the babyhook

They will have one heck of a team, but three player can't win by themselves, so look for more quality players coming in because they know they will be NBA Champions for sure. Fisher think it over and make the " DECISION " like LeBron did, but to no fanefare. Either way I'll root for both teams in the Finals.

Umm Kobe raped a girl in Colorado. His legacy seems to have recovered. So will LeBron's.

I've never been much of a Lakers fan but ANY time the Lakers play the Heat from now on they will have my full and sincere support. Looking back at the eastern playoffs now I can see that LeBum really could have cared less about winning against Boston. He was determined to join Wade and Bosh in Miami and loosing early in the playoffs was the only way he could even halfway justify leaving Cleveland. The Lakers are still the team to beat overall BUT next season I'm certain that they'll have a LOT more fans arounf the country cheering for them whenever they play the Heat!



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